A year after walking away from its relationship with Amazon in the U.S., the German shoemaker Birkenstock is again targeting the e-commerce giant for what it believes is a failure to deal with counterfeit versions of its iconic footwear for sale on its site.
Birkenstock CEO Oliver Reichert told told Spiegel news weekly on Friday that Amazon “is an accomplice” to those making money off fraudulent goods. The news was reported by AFP.
“The truth is that Amazon makes money with these fakes,” Reichert said. “As far we’re concerned, Amazon is an accomplice.”
The shoe brand, founded in 1774, is well known for its chunky leather sandals, which have enjoyed a resurgence in recent years in extended fashion circles.
Last January, Birkenstock cited a surge of low-priced counterfeits on Amazon in the U.S. as its reason for pulling the product. AFP reports that Reichert’s comments come just days after the company said it would stop selling on Amazon Europe in the new year.
“If you sell dodgy merchandise on your marketplace, you have to answer for that,” Reichert said in the report.
An Amazon spokesperson told GeekWire on Friday that the company prohibits the sale of fraudulent products.
“We remove items in violation of our policies as soon as we become aware of them and take appropriate action against the seller,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “We stand behind the products sold on our site with our A-to-z Guarantee, and we encourage rights owners who have a product authenticity concern to notify us, and we will investigate it thoroughly and take any appropriate actions.”
In a 2016 story about Amazon going after counterfeit sellers of merchandise on its site, the company detailed its lack of tolerance for such practices and the efforts it takes to discover “bad actors.”
“Amazon has zero tolerance for counterfeits, and has invested heavily in protecting the integrity of the Amazon marketplace for consumers, sellers, and manufacturers,” the company said in lawsuits filed in Seattle. “Amazon’s anti-counterfeiting policy clearly prohibits the sale of counterfeit products.”